NATIONAL CAPITAL SECURITY AND SAFETY ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 16, 2008)
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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
I was sitting in my office listening to this debate, and it occurred to me there was an interesting experiment done a number of years ago. The City of Morton Grove, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago, put in a ban on handguns. They outlawed the ownership of guns in Morton Grove; and in response to that, the City of Kennesaw, Georgia, enacted legislation within that community that required the ownership of firearms within that community.
Both of these are very similar communities. Morton Grove is just outside of Chicago; Kennesaw is just outside of Atlanta.
It was very interesting what happened with this social experiment. The crime rate, the murder rate, the assaults, the rapes, every measure of crime in Morton Grove, Illinois, rose exponentially. In Kennesaw, Georgia, the crime rate plummeted and is still low even today. The Kennesaw ordinance allowed people who didn't want to have firearms in their homes a method of having conscientious objection to doing so. But it's a very interesting experiment.
I hear from the other side all of these rants and raves and anger even expressed tonight over the substitute amendment supporting the bill. Well, the fact is the underlying bill does not support the second amendment, it is anti-second amendment; and frankly, according to the Constitution, we have a pre-existing right prior to the Constitution to own firearms and to protect ourselves. And that's what this substitute would help allow to happen in Washington, D.C.
Washington is not a State. It's not a city, according to all of the other cities in the country. It's very unique. And this body has the prerogative, has the responsibility under the Constitution to set the laws and to monitor what is going on in Washington, D.C.
I hear claims on the other side that the substitute amendment would legalize AK-47s. Well, that's not factual. I hear that it will allow mentally deficient people to have firearms. That's not correct. I hear so many claims on the other side and every single person that I have heard come to this floor making these outrageous, incorrect claims are all on record of being anti-gun, anti-second amendment, and want to outlaw guns, register guns, and want to get guns out of the hands of individuals.
We have an individual right to protect ourselves. We have an individual right to own a firearm. And what this amendment will do is it will allow the people of Washington, D.C. the right to protect themselves. It's inane to think that somebody can't have a gun and own that gun and have it loaded.
It's inane to think that somebody has to have a gun unloaded or locked or taken apart because if somebody's breaking into your house, if they're robbing, raping, pillaging, you don't have time to put those firearms together, even the loaded firearm.
We know from the experiment in Morton Grove, as well as Kennesaw, Georgia, that owning firearms within a community actually decreases crime and makes people safer.
So I encourage the Members of this House to vote for the substitute amendment and vote down the underlying bill.
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Mr. BROUN of Georgia. An AK-47 is a fully automatic machine gun. Machine guns are very strictly controlled and have been for decades. This will not allow machine guns.
Now, there are many on that side that think if a gun is an autoloader, that it's a machine gun. It is not. A machine gun, you pull the trigger, it fires multiple times with one pull of the trigger. This bill does not allow that. A semi-automatic would allow one shot with one pull of the trigger. There are shotguns that do that, there are pistols that do that, there are rifles that do that.
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